January 18,
photo of woman with smooth skin makeup

We know creating the perfect makeup base isn’t always smooth sailing. You’ll have a full week of your foundation looking flawless, followed by a few days with a dull, flaky or “cakey” complexion.

What if we told you that a smooth, second-skin look can be yours every time with a few simple tune-ups? Discover how to make makeup look smooth in four easy steps. Plus, learn about the formulas you’ll need.

Why doesn’t my makeup look smooth?

The problem might be in your prep. Applying makeup on dry, flakey skin can emphasize skin texture and lead to a not-so-smooth makeup base. That’s why prepping your skin correctly before beginning your routine is essential.

Using a foundation that’s not right for your specific skin type and texture could be another reason. Below, read our best tips for achieving smooth makeup.

How to make makeup look smooth:

1. Exfoliate.
Smooth skin begins with a clean canvas. If you’re dealing with dry skin or uneven skin texture, upgrade your skincare routine with an exfoliator. This step will create a smooth, even base for your face makeup to cling to. 

We love Perfectly Clean Multi-Action Toner/Refiner, which doubles as an exfoliator and a toner. It helps reveal a brighter, smoother complexion while removing any dry, dull flakey skin cells.

2. Hydrate your skin.
Hydration is essential to create that smooth skin finish and prevent flaking. No matter your skin type, you’ll love the benefits of applying moisturizer before makeup.

Dealing with dry skin? Use a formula with a supremely indulgent texture like our best-selling Revitalizing Supreme+ Moisturizer to lock in all-day hydration. Pro tip: For those with very dry skin, layer your moisturizer with a hydrating serum formulated with Hyaluronic Acid like our Advanced Night Repair Serum.

If you have oily skin that’s prone to clogged pores, prep your skin with a lightweight lotion moisturizer like Revitalizing Supreme+ Power Soft Milky Lotion. It provides 72-hour hydration while helping to minimize the appearance of pores.

double wear smooth and blur primer

3. Create a smooth makeup base with primer.
We love primers for helping our makeup last all day—but did you know they can also provide essential skincare benefits?  

Reach for a primer like Futurist Peptide-Power Serum Primer if you have dry, dull-looking skin. This lightweight primer, formulated with Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid, plumps skin with hydration for a makeup-ready glow.

A primer like Double Wear Smooth & Blur Primer can be a go-to for oily skin. This primer instantly blurs the look of pores and controls oil to create a smooth, matte finish.

4. Choose the right foundation formula.
Foundation isn’t one-size-fits-all. Get a smooth foundation application by selecting the right formula for you.

If you have dry, textured skin, try a liquid foundation like Futurist Hydra Rescue Makeup SPF 45. This hydrating foundation creates 12-hour radiant glow with buildable medium-to-full coverage.

For all-day moisture, light coverage and an ultra-natural radiant finish, choose Futurist SkinTint Serum.

Those with oilier complexions will love Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup’s fresh matte finish. This long wear formula corrects the look of uneven skin tone and covers imperfections with buildable medium-to-full coverage.

Want more makeup tips? Chat Live with an Estée Expert for 1-on-1 advice.